Texas is not backing down from its hard-line stance against abortion. The state is on track to pass new legislation that will ban all insurance plans from covering the procedure.
According to Slate, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott plans to sign a bill into law that would prohibit all insurance companies from covering abortion in their standard plans, leaving women with no choice but to pay extra premiums for coverage if they think they could have an unplanned pregnancy in the near future.
This new policy would apply to plans on the exchanges set by the Affordable Care Act as well as plans provided by employers and purchased privately.
The ban applies to almost all abortions including those resulting from rape, incest, and extreme fetal abnormalities. The only exception that insurance plans would be allowed to cover is in the case of a pregnant woman’s life-threatening health emergency, according to Slate.
Apparently, advocates of this bill believe that, as it currently stands, they are being forced to help fund abortions by taking part in a health insurance system that covers them.
In the words of Rep. John Smithee — who reportedly sponsored the bill in the House — this new legislation promotes “economic freedom” to those who oppose abortion.
On the flip side, Democratic Texas lawmakers argue that this bill would force women to invest in “rape insurance,” as they will have to take a gamble on whether or not to pay higher premiums just in case they get raped and become pregnant as a result.
Slate notes that without insurance coverage, an abortion can cost between $300 for an early medication abortion and a few thousand dollars for a surgical one later in pregnancy, which is hardly ideal for low and middle income women who can’t afford the expense.
If this bill passes, the Texas government will be inflicting hardship on low income women throughout the entire state simply to appease anti-choice lawmakers and advocates who can’t even empathize with the people they’re hurting because of their privilege and higher economic status.
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